markpasc (markpasc) wrote,

Selective breeding

Somewhat boring discussion on FoRK about selective breeding of chickens, but this comment got my attention:

Thos is saying that selective breeding should be counted as genetic engineering, whereas you are extending his definition to include the attration that your parents felt...

Unless your parents were selectively bred like livestock to produce you, I don't think you can make that case... :-)

But that is selective breeding: deciding to have children with someone is an active expression of your opinion that there should be more people like your partner in the world. (Having sex in general is an autonomic version of the same, though in some the basic impulse "There should be more people like me in the world" is stronger.)

Nowadays it's strange, though, since (and maybe the Big Thinkers repeat in which a geneticist discusses this has put this in my head) human evolution has stopped. It's only in idea space that we have forces of evolution acting on us. What really matters is who raises your children, since that's where people get (at least the starting point for) their ideas about the world and how things work.

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